Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One Month Away

TigerBlog's iPhone has an app on the first screen that shows the weather.

The icon is a blue sky with an orange sun, underneath of which it says "73" with the symbol for degrees, which TB can't figure out how to get on his computer.

Then you click on the app, and it tells you the actual temperature and the forecast for the next five days, of wherever TB happens to be at that moment. It's actually pretty neat.

This morning, it said it was nine degrees in Princeton, or only 64 degrees away from the 73 on the app's icon. Now, a few hours later, it has vaulted up three degrees, all the way to 12.

Yes, it's really winter here. Of course, this comes on the heels of Sunday's high temperature, which was 60. And it'll be back near 50 next week.

Last winter was the mildest TB can remember. Even with how cold it is today, it's still better than snow, which is in the forecast for Friday, though without much accumulation.

TB was walking into the building this morning with Marcus Jenkins, the men's basketball coach assistant coach, who agreed that nobody ever says "it's awesome when it's this cold out."

Meanwhile, back at TB's iPhone, there's another app for the calendar, which very nicely has today's date on it each day. For instance, on the 14th of the month, it'll say "14" across the icon.

Today TB was greeted with the number 23, which made him immediately think of where he will be  the next time that app has "23" on it.

He'll be at Hofstra. For Princeton-Hofstra men's lacrosse. That same day, by the way, the women open the season at home against Villanova that same day.

Princeton hasn't started practice yet. The Ivy League schools actually have their first practices on Feb. 1, which is a week from Friday and one day before the first Division I men's game, as Delaware plays at High Point. The women have already had their first real game, as Syracuse played Jacksonville.

TigerBlog doesn't think that the Ivy schools are at a disadvantage because they start a few weeks later. In fact, who would want to be practicing outside on days like today?

There are some big early February games on the horizon, including Denver's opener against Duke on Feb. 9.

As for Princeton's men, it'll be a fascinating season.

The Tigers averaged 11.2 goals per game and gave up 7.25 in 2012, when the Tigers went 11-5, won the Ivy League at 6-0 and returned to the NCAA tournament.

The offense will be led by junior Tom Schreiber, who came within two assists last year of having Princeton's second "30/30" season (David Tickner in 1976 had 34 goals and 32 assists for the only season of 30 goals, 30 assists in school history). The cast around him offensively is very good, and the Tigers could easily add to the scoring offense total this time around.

Schreiber, by the way, is can't-miss viewing, as he is a threat to do something spectacular every single time he touches the ball.

And the rule changes could help Princeton, as they are meant to open the game up, give more possessions and add to the offense. The major ones involve substitutions, which all are on the fly right now (other than after goals and penalties) and of course the biggest one, the 30-second countdown after a stall warning, a change that is clearly a prelude to a shot clock.

For Princeton, all the question marks are on defense. How could they not be, when graduation took, among others, All-Americas Tyler Fiorito in goal, Chad Wiedmaier on defense and John Cunningham at longstick midfielder, as well as four-year starter and All-Ivy performer Jonathan Meyers.

TigerBlog envisions a lacrosse season with sun and warmth that increases as the season goes along, building to hopefully another successful May.

For now, it's up four more degrees, all the way to 16.

The warm weather is coming though.

He, a month from today, it'll be spring.

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